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Sun set to publish exploitative exclusive on Agbonlahor

The Sun are set to showcase a number of problems with the British sporting press.

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The Sun are set in the next few hours to release an exclusive report on Gabby Agbonlahor. The report will include an interview with a woman who claims to be one of Gabby's paramours. She will claim that she has been seeing Gabby for two or three years, and I am not here to dispute that at all. I don't have the information to say whether or not the claim is true, and to be frank I don't care either. What a footballer does in their own time is, for the most part, their own business.

But I've just spoken with someone close to Gabby who knows for a fact that The Sun have sat on this report, and one of a similar nature that they released just before this weekend's West Bromwich Albion match, for months. I have never used the unnamed source line in an article before, but hopefully that will increase your trust in me on this. I pushed hard to even get to say that they were someone close to Gabby, but I assure you that this is someone who would know.

Now, why would I even write about this? Why would I dive into tabloid fodder that I have assiduously avoided on this very site. You will notice that there is no previous coverage of anything like this be it with Gabby or some of the salacious news that came out about Jordan Ayew earlier this year. I hate this stuff, and that's exactly why I want to call it to light.

The Sun have been sitting on this for months, and they just happen to report it on the eve of two of Aston Villa's biggest matches of the year? Ignore whatever their editors or writers tell you tomorrow, they are not publishing this information as some public service. They are publishing this for the ulterior motive of grabbing headlines and making a story. If a normal person had this same thing happen, it would not be published ever. And apparently, that's how the Sun felt about Gabby until it was convenient to grab him into the news at the worst possible time for him. Publish this before and it's simply a gross overstepping of privacy. Publish it now and it's nothing short of exploitation.

I have a lot of problems with the English footballing (and footballing-related) media. They consistently write reports without sources, and they consistently drag up stories simply for the joy of making people squirm. (Remember the scenes of the dark ages when happy Villa fans stormed the pitch last season? Yeah.) So when this report come out tomorrow, don't bother to read it. It doesn't pertain to Aston Villa as a footballing club and it's nothing more than a bit of intentionally timed exploitation.

We're all better than that. Or at least those of us who don't work for the Sun are.